Roy DeCarava

Roy DeCarava was an American painter and photographer. He is known for his early work chronicling the lives of African Americans and jazz artists in Harlem. Roy DeCarava is also the founder of fine art black and white photography separate from the “social documentary” style of those before him.

Roy DeCarava was born in New York December 9, 1919. During his career, he produced five books, as well as landmark museum catalogs and retrospective surveys from the Friends of Photography and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Also his work included chronicling the lives of everyday people from Harlem.

He was the first African American photographer to win a Guggenheim Fellowship. In 2006, he was awarded the National Medal of Arts from the National Endowment for the Arts, which is the highest award given to artists by the United States Government.

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